Moving into a smaller home made one thing immediately clear to us: we were overdue for a garage sale. So, as we unpacked our way-too-many boxes of stuff this January, we started a â€œfor saleâ€ pile and waited and waited for a sunny spring weekend. We got our wish a few weeks ago, making over $200 and clearing out some much-needed space in the process. All that was left was one box of small things that we donated. Iâ€™d call that a huge success. If you, too, are buried in things you no longer need or want, hereâ€™s what worked for us (and what we learned for the next one):
Use Craigslist — Look up other garage/yard sale ads to see what the typical hours are for sales in your area (we went with 9-3, and I think we could have ended by 2). Once thatâ€™s set, put your own ad on Craigslist by mid-week and then follow up with another one the night before the sale. Include a list of what you have; pictures are a bonus. If you have anything from Pottery Barn, mention it. A lot of people specifically asked where the Pottery Barn stuff was as soon as they arrived.
Get small bills — Most people pay with the $20 bills they get from the ATM. I got $60 of $5s and $1s, and that still wasnâ€™t enough.
Price things in advance — Thereâ€™s always room for negotiation (and, believe me, most people will try), but I think buyers appreciate seeing price tags. And, if you have a lot of stuff for sale, so will you.
Make street signs — We live near a busy intersection and put up big signs with arrows on both streets. As my husband was nailing one of the signs up, he saw drivers taking last-minute turns down our road as soon as they spotted it.
Find that old fanny pack — Or, to be a little more stylish, wear a cute apron with pockets. The sale can get busy, and youâ€™ll want to keep your cash close.
Make $1 or $0.50 bins for the little doo-dads — Surprisingly, people seemed to like sifting through those bargain bins, like they were going to find a hidden treasure.
Donâ€™t expect big-ticket items to sell — People are looking for a deal. Our patio set and nice dining room chairs garnered very few looks, so we sold them on Craigslist instead.
Hang those cute baby clothes â€“ They drew oohs and ahhs, and I got more for them than if I sold them to a consignment shop.
Garage sale veterans, please add your own tips in the comments. And happy decluttering, everyone! –Ginny F.
Sign and photo by Flickr user hauntlove
Related: How do you feel about yard sales?